Portrait of Soundings performer Carolin Widmann by Lennard Ruehle

Nasher Sculpture Center Announces the 2019/2020 Season of Soundings: New Music at the Nasher

Tenth anniversary season of highly-acclaimed concert series brings dynamic line-up of performances to Dallas with presentations from an international array of talent

DALLAS, Texas (June 11, 2019) – The Nasher Sculpture Center announces the 2019/2020 season of the critically acclaimed concert series Soundings: New Music at the Nasher. Now in its tenth season, Soundings will feature four concerts from October 2019 to May 2020, an assortment of enriching musical experiences conceived by Seth Knopp, longtime artistic director of the series.


“It’s a tremendous occasion to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Soundings. This concert series brings a rich and dynamic level of engagement with our audiences, expanding the artistic offerings of the museum and challenging our expectations of what a musical performance can be,” says Nasher Director Jeremy Strick. “Seth Knopp’s impeccable artistic direction continues to astound and delight, and we look forward to its continued success.” 


As ever, the 2019/2020 season offers a wide-ranging assortment of concerts, from songs of solidarity and protest to unearthed musical treasures by little-known musicians, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s often-overlooked sister, Nannerl, to a versatile solo violin concert covering works across the ages. This season also brings a new musician-in residence, Travis Laplante—saxophonist and composer— who will present multiple performances in different formats for several days in February, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Soundings. 


This season’s concerts will take place on Thursday, October 17; Wednesday, December 4; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, February 20, 21, 22; and Friday, May 1. 


Music from Yellow Barn: Songs of Refuge and Resistance

Theo Bleckmann and The Westerlies

Thursday, October 17, 2019 

Music from Yellow Barn: Songs of Refuge and Resistance, the Soundings season opener, is a brilliant example of what makes the series so essential. This concert features the talent-melding of Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Theo Bleckmann with the New York-based “accidental brass quartet” The Westerlies. Bleckmann, a German expat who’s called New York home for the past 30 years, is a phenom, often stretching the boundaries of his clarion tenor with ethereal electronic effects. Songs of Refuge and Resistance was first presented at Yellow Barn in the summer of 2018, but its timeliness has not diminished. The program includes original compositions from Bleckmann and members of The Westerlies, as well as songs from Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, Bertolt Brecht and Paul Dessau, Judee Sill, Phil Kline, legendary union organizer Joe Hill, and others. “No matter what time in which we are live, music always has something to say,” Seth Knopp observes, “and its power rises above things that are happening around it and the climate in which it is being created.” Music From Yellow Barn: Songs of Refuge and Resistance makes for a diverse, rewarding experience. 


Carolin Widmann: Works for Solo Violin

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 

Hildegard von Bingen: Antiphona Jörg Widmann: Paraphrase on Mendelssohn’s Wedding March George Enescu: Fantaisie Concertante Salvatore Sciarrino: Sei Capricci (after Paganini) Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No.2 in D Minor, BWV1004 The season’s next offering transcends the temporal with Carolin Widmann: Works for Solo Violin. Munich-born Widmann has had a celebrated international career and this concert will showcase her extraordinary breadth—she can do it all. From the haunting, austere beauty of Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century Antiphona, to the contemporary deranged virtuosity of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Sei Capricci (after Paganini); from Bach’s celestial Partita No. 2 in D Minor to Jörg Widmann’s wry Paraphrase on Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, to George Enescu’s rarely heard Fantaisie concertante, it is an evening untethered to time and place. “Carolin is one of those rare people who is a champion not only of new music, but a champion of all music,” Seth Knopp says. “This program represents who she is in that way.” And while the eclecticism of the five compositions makes for a delightful program, Knopp observes that there are even more than five composers represented: Sciarrino’s work was inspired by Paganini and Jörg Widmann channels Mendelssohn. “I love the fact that those building blocks are being used by composers of our time,” he adds. 


Travis Laplante

In Residence at the Nasher: February 17-22, 2020

Performances: February 20, 21, and 22, 2020 

This Soundings season’s musician-in-residence is saxophonist, composer, and renaissance man, Travis Laplante, who divides his time between Brooklyn and southern Vermont. Laplante is an astonishing technician, extending possibilities of the tenor saxophone into new territories that encompass the avant-garde, contemporary jazz and classical, world music, and beyond, swirled into a transformative artistic experience. His mastery of circular breathing, multiphonics and harmonics is virtuosic, and he’s likely to produce dizzying torrents of sound—it’s music as primal therapy, musician as shaman. His six-day residency will involve a concert in Nasher Hall on February 20—the primary Soundings concert—as well as smaller performances as part of the free late-night program ‘Til Midnight at the Nasher on February 21, and for children, in the galleries, on February 22. As a Pied Piper of improv and the moment, Laplante performances could lead audiences anywhere. “There’s nothing that Travis does that is not rooted in emotional psychology,” Seth Knopp maintains. “In spite of the extended techniques he uses, it is almost as though he wails beyond what is humanly or physically possible. He represents all the emotion behind the wail.” 


The Other Mozart

Sylvia Milo, actress

Friday, May 1, 2020 

The other Mozart introduces Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart, known as Nannerl, Wolfgang’s older sister—prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, forgotten in the mists of music history: until now. The Other Mozart is the award-winning creation of actress/playwright Sylvia Milo and the final don’t-miss presentation of the season. The play features Milo in the title role, with music by Nannerl’s composing inspiration, Marianna Martines, two contemporary composers, Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen, as well as some from her better-known sibling. Seth Knopp rhapsodizes, “This one-woman show is a tour-de-force. There is a phenomenal amount of material which Sylvia has to internalize and a very beautiful set that allows us to become part of that world.” The centerpiece of the set is the 18- foot dress Milo wears in the role, topped by towering coif and wafting perfume, with dusting powder festooning the air. The parallel zeitgeist between Nannerl’s world 

and ours is clear, Knopp noting, “You come away feeling not that she was resentful but that she lamented the times and circumstance in which she was born.” The Other Mozart lives again. 


Season subscription for Nasher Sculpture Center members are on sale now for $100 and $120 for non-members and are available at: 



Single tickets go on sale on September 1. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 


For high-resolution images of the 2018-2019 season of Soundings: New Music at the Nasher, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/viyaz2qop8dkhm5/AABeTmOvteykTM6rXTYZ-Z9ga?dl=0


For a short film about Soundings: New Music at the Nasher with Nasher Director Jeremy Strick, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bldDpvZgRIM&feature=youtu.be 


Soundings: New Music at the Nasher is supported by Jessie and Charles Price, Kay and Elliot Cattarulla, Laura and Walter Elcock, John W. Dayton, and the Friends of Soundings. Additional support is provided by Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger. Media Partner: WRR 101.1 FM. 


Press contact: 

Lucia Simek 

Manager of Communications and International Programs 

+1 214.242.5177 

[email protected]


About the Nasher Sculpture Center: 

Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, featuring more than 300 masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Gormley, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, Serra, and Shapiro, among others. 

The Nasher Sculpture Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 5 pm on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and under and members, and includes access to special exhibitions. 


For more information, visit www.NasherSculptureCenter.org. 

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
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